As the title suggest, this story was inspired by a quote I read sometime ago. I hope you enjoy reading and reviews are welcome.
Story born from a Quote
I saw him hanging at the cliff, clinging onto the hard rock for his life. I ran up to him and clutched his hands desperately telling him not to let go. At the bottom of the cliff was a girl, her chocolate hair floating with the wind, both her hands outreached. She was telling him to let go and assured him that she'll catch him. I felt his grasp ease on mine and I stared at him in horror and shock. He looked up at me, his eyes pleading for me to let go. I shook my head vigorously telling him no, begging him to hang on and to not leave me. He once again glanced down to her, longing in his beautiful black eyes, slowly he shook his head and mouthed sorry. I felt him slip away and he fell.
Nightmares like that was a pain especially if you know that the possibility of such happening is high. It's like cancer, eating you away, slowly leading you to the inevitable. One might think I'm paranoid but when your boyfriend hadn't exactly drew the line between him and his Ex and when all of you are together makes you feel like the third wheel, then I'd like to think I'm being realistic. Mac and I have been dating for almost a year now and if one may rank our relationship out of ten, ours sadly is about four.
Oh, we kissed, went on a date, and hold hands and everything that a couple might do but that was before Andrea came to the picture. Mac dated Andrea for almost five years, he told me that they were actually planning to get married but then Andrea suddenly backed out and went off with another guy. Now I don't know why Mac decided that I wouldn't feel insecure or terribly jealous whenever we are all together but, I am. I also have no idea if he's just making me jealous, trusting me too much or if he's being an inconsiderate, unfeeling jerk who have no regards to her girlfriend's feeling at all.
"Jing! Where's your hubby? You told me you're watching a movie today so I was surprised when you called me." Rocky said, nudging me.
We continued walking to McDonalds and I replied, "Oh, well, he got a call from Andrea about something and gave me the tickets. He said he'll be right back but I doubt it so I called you... it's such a waste to not use them."
Rocky took me in a one-sided hug to comfort me. "Want me to teach him a lesson? He can't just drop you whenever and wherever he wants."
I shrugged thankful for my best friend's warmth, banishing my suspicions to a corner of my mind. I want to trust Mac, I know it's only been a year but I love him. "No, don't. I'm sure it was something urgent. He wouldn't have left if it wasn't."
Rocky saw through me like a glass, he knew I was trying to convince myself and he made sure I had a fair grasp of reality. "Jing, there's no use trying to convince yourself because that'll only lead to doubts and more doubts. You have to confront him and ask him what's up."
"Easy to say but hard to do" I said, ordering a burger meal for two. I was about to pay for the burgers when he said it's his treat. We found an open table and sat down. "But you know you have to." He replied, continuing our conversation.
I sighed, "Can we drop this convo?"
He gave me a cursory glance and shrugged. He bites down on the succulent burger and started saying, "So, what's this movie that we're supposed to watch about?"
I grinned and slowly took the tickets from my pockets. "Actually..." I started, "It's the new action film with Jackie Chan."
A glimmer of something crossed my best friend's eyes and his looks at me shouts, No kidding! "Hehe, I exchanged the tickets for the sappy romance film to this after Mac gave them to me." I said waving the tickets in air.
"They actually exchange tickets?" He asked me, mouth agape with awe.
"tsk, tsk, tsk. Of course they do!"
We finished our meal, mocking around with each other all the while and engaged in idle chatter along the way to the cinema. When we the film ended, we were both stunned speechless. We stubbornly continued to sit on the cold cinema seats both our faces resolute in watching the credits roll, wishing that there was more. A few seconds later when the curtain fell on the big screen, one of the staff came over and kicked us out of the theatre.
We looked at each other and burst to peals of laughter at the hilarity of us being kicked out. I was glad that Rocky never brought Mac's disappearing act again after our meal and so we spent the afternoon pleasantly, store hopping and throwing random references to each other.
"Thanks a lot." I said while sitting down on a park bench, weathered by the harsh forces of nature making it smooth and comfortable to sit on.
He hand me some cola from one of the vending machines nearby and smiled warmly at me, "I had fun."
"Yeah, it's been a while." I replied sipping from the can. Rocky opened his mouth to say something, but decided not to. He maimed my action and looked up the starry sky. "Beautiful."
I look up,"Yeah"
Rocky stole a glance at me and stood up; he stretched his hand towards me, "I'll take you home."
I took it and got up from the bench silently thanking him with a smile. I never noticed how big and bony Rocky's hands were. I also never noticed just how warm and comfortable they were against my own. I felt Rocky's hand grip mine securely and I gave in. Following him through the sea of people, not letting go of my only fire, I grip his hands in return and saw a smile tug at his lips.
In the night's lighting, Rocky appeared to be surrounded by a soft warm light that is slowly enveloping me, washing all my doubts and uncertainties away and melting all my anxieties. "I envy the woman you'll love." I whispered, still not letting go of his hands.
"Did you say something?" He asked as he fell in step with me, he shows no sign of letting me go either.
"Nope," I responded and look at the small alley leading to my house, "This is far enough." I said, immediately cold from the lack of contact when I released my hold.
His face fell a fraction but not enough to be noticed and gave me one of his blinding smile, "Ok, take care!"
"You too", I replied hugging him and turning away to walk through the alley. At the end, where the scantly light vaguely lit the path, I looked back and saw him still standing there under the stream of yellow light from the stand post. I waved at him and he waved back. After a while I opened the rusty gate and went inside the house.
My relationship with Mac started to worsen. Our daily conversation through text messaging or through the phone became once every week and is gradually turning to once a month and actually seeing each other, although we are in the same university campus and department was a rarity.
"Hello, Mac?" I asked him through the phone.
"Oh. Hi Janielle, what's up? I'm sort of busy." He replied, sounding rushed. It was nothing but a short sentence but hearing his voice after a while was a relief. It was a wonder why I still feel this way with our relationship being virtually non-existent. I forgot to reply to his question and so he asked, "Jing, are you there? What's up?"
I steeled my racing heart and summoned my calming mechanisms to work, "We need to talk."
"Aren't we already?"
"In person" I clarified with a tone of finality. The noise on the other end stopped, what was he doing?
It took Mac several seconds to reply and whatever mechanism it is that is working to calm me down failed. My heart started to overwork itself and I was fidgeting and shifting my balance from left to right. Finally he broke the deadly silence between us, "Ok, I'll meet you at the usual place in an hour."
"Alright", I replied ending the call.
I started my way to the family restaurant near the university campus and waited at our usual table next to the window. It was a four person table. There was nothing special in this family restaurant, the decorations was ordinary and the same can be said with the food however, this is where Mac and I met.
It was a rainy day, more than a year ago. I was perched on this very same seat, reading a hardback copy of 'The Lord of the Rings', sipping my warm coffee and listening to the euphony of the rain. Mac burst into the restaurant, hair dripping wet and his shirt clinging to him like second skin. My eyes and everyone in the diner were drawn to his drenched form as he glanced around and met mine. I was captured by the intensity of his onyx eyes, so enchanting, like a black hole was pulling me in with invincible unfathomable forces.
One of the waitress, rushed to him with a clean towel and he reluctantly looked away. I continued surveying him and stopped myself when I realized that it is rude to stare. I sipped my coffee and turned my attention back to Frodo Baggins' world and his adventure in Middle-earth. Soon, he joined me on my table, fairly dry but still wet. The towel draped around his shoulders, keeping him warm. I looked up from my book and caught him staring. "Sorry," He said, "Um... do you mind?"
"You're already seated." I replied.
He sheepishly smiled at me, "that's true. Um... so can I have your name?"
I ignored the question.
"Well... I always see you in the laboratories back in the Biology building and you were in some of my classes and I sort off usually know everyone's name but I didn't know yours. It was kind of disconcerting and-"
"Janielle Fernandez" I replied to stop him from rambling and finally found a name to place on his face. Macky Carino. He was indeed, in some of my classes but I never uttered a word to him.
"Janielle Fernandez. Janielle Fernandez" He repeated, smiling at the sound of my name from his own lips, engraving it in his mind. "Wow. I love your name. I'm Macky Carino." He said, stretching his hand.
"Hi," I replied shaking his hand with mine. A weird sensation ran through my arms and I quickly drew back.
After that encounter, we started to notice each other more so than we usually did and eventually started to go out with each other.
Mac just like in the past burst into the family restaurant and glanced around. Unlike that day, he wasn't soaking and Andrea is trailing him. I felt a pang of pain in my heart. It was the pain of it shattering, slowly like I just drank a very potent poison guaranteed to give you a slow, agonizing death. I swallowed as he sat down on the seat opposite mine. It was the same seat he sat on that day. The day my love started to take shape. Andrea settled on the seat next to his. "Jing," He called.
"It was nice of you to have brought Andrea although unnecessary." I smiled towards her, the venom in my voice unconcealed to him.
"Hi Janielle" Andrea greeted me. I ignored her and glanced at my boyfriend.
"I would've thought you were sensible enough. I see I was wrong."
"Jing." He once again called me. I tilted my head slightly to one side giving him my undivided attention.
"I-" He started, his face contorted with sadness. "We got back together." Andrea happily finished for him.
I once again ignored her and continued to stare at him, wishing that he'll deny it. "I'm sorry." He muttered.
For a second, I allowed pain to paint my face and he took it in. "Jan-"
"Did you come here just to tell me that?" I asked Andrea, a growing suspicion in my mind. Andrea perked up, she was confused from the tense atmosphere between me and Mac but she replied nonetheless. "Of course! We wanted to tell you the happy news since you're Mac's best friend!"
The poison finally devoured my heart giving me the last stroke of pain, stronger and more excruciating than the first waves. I tried to stop my tears from falling and my heart was temporarily wrapped in a flimsy membrane. I stood up from my seat and strode out the restaurant. All the while I did not dare look at my ex-boyfriend's face. What he did was cruel. He should have settled it between us, he shouldn't have brought her.
I felt my tears staining my cheeks. I ran and somehow ended up in the park where Rocky and I stayed after we went to the movies. There, the flimsy membrane holding my heart together burst open and my heart shattered to pieces. I felt the full effect of the poison and then I was dead. My tears kept on falling but I felt empty. When Rocky found me I was huddled on the bench, my body raking with sobs and shaking from the cold wind. Breathing became hard and torturous and my teeth chattered.
"G...go...a...wa...aayy..*hic*." I shakily told Rocky. "le..aveee... *hic*....me...a...a...lonee...."
Rocky sat down next to me and embraced me in a tight hug. I protested and started to push him away but his hold was strong and he wouldn't budge. Every time I push him, his hold got tighter. "Ro...*hic*...rocky...lettt....mee...goooo!"
He tighten his hold more, "Give in, Janielle. You can't win from me." He told me, his voice filled with warmth. I stopped struggling against him, his voice as he chanted 'it's alright' was like a drug that I can't get enough off. I ended up crying into him. "He...*hic*he...du... *hic*...dumped...m*hic*e. The...ba*hic*...bastard...dum...*hic*...ped...me...the *hic*...nig*hic*htma*hic*re...came*hic*...true..." A new wave of tears flowed down my eyes and I was unable to continue.
Rocky held me tighter and stroked my hair continuously calming me down. Suddenly my eyes felt really heavy and my consciousness drifted away.
"Rocky?" I croaked my throat parched from too much crying. Rocky was sleeping beside the bed, his face settled on his arms, facing me. He smiled and pushed my hair back, "Good morning sleeping beauty."
He fetched me a glass of water and made me drink it. "How are you feeling?"
I looked at him with tired eyes. "Tired. Tired but much better. Is this your room?"
"Yeah, I couldn't bring you home in your state last night." I flinched at the memory, "I'm sorry." He quickly added.
"No." I said, "It wasn't your fault." I said standing up. He stopped me by placing his hands on my shoulders and pushing me back down. "You need some more rest. I'll stay with you so just rest." It wasn't a suggestion, it was a command. He wanted me to rest and nothing; even I can do about it. Rocky can be stubborn to that extent. I relented and closed my eyes, immediately falling into a deep sleep.
The next time I woke up, Rocky wasn't by my side. "Rocky?" I called out but was met with silence. I got out of bed and wandered towards the living room. Rocky was nowhere to be seen, I dialled his phone but he wasn't answering. I heard the click of the doors and Rocky entered with a bag of 7eleven. Inside were a tub of my favourite ice cream – cookies and cream.
"Hey, sorry, I went out to buy this. I thought you'll want some when you wake up. Want some?" He offered.
I nodded and he took two spoons from the drawer in the kitchen. We flumped down the sofa and turned the TV on and muted it. "Do you want to talk about it?" Rocky cautiously asked as he scooped some ice cream.
"They got back together." I replied.
"What did you do?"
"Nothing, I knew it was coming but it still hurts to hear it"
"Andrea thought he and I were just best of friends."
"Is that what he told her?"
"I suppose so. They must have started dating during that time when we went to the movies."
"And my offer from that time still stands."
I smiled, "I'll let you know once I think about it."
We continued eating the ice cream in silence. I was resting on Rocky's shoulder loving his warmth. "You know..."
"hmmm" He replied.
"I thought we'd last... I thought he's the one..."
"There are many fishes in the ocean, Jing. You'll find someone better, I'm sure of it. Are you sure you have still have to think about it?"
I laughed. "You just want to beat him up don't you?"
"You laughed! You should do that more often." He said, stroking my cheeks with the back of his hand. I leaned closer into him and closed my eyes.
I felt him laugh and he whispered, "Good night."